With Kerala entering the next stage of its fight against COVID-19 pandemic, three Ayurveda doctors have come up with a melodious tribute to the state's frontline virus fighters.
The doctors, all alumni of the Government Ayurveda Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram, have joined hands from three different parts of the world to make a musical video titled 'Nin Peru Keralam' (Thy name is Kerala). The mellifluous song, crooned by Madhu Balakrishnan and Mridula Warrier, was premiered on YouTube on Sunday evening.
It all started with Dr S Gopakumar of Government Ayurveda College, Thiruvananthapuram, penning the lyrics two months ago. Dr Gopakumar, an associate professor at the Ayurveda college, had no clue that it would become a song one day when he wrote the poem out of an inner urge.
The song is a literary honour to the frontline COVID warriors like healthcare professionals, political leaders, police, volunteers and media.
“The exact trigger for the poem was the visuals of the state sending back the migrant labourers to their homeland. There were some striking visuals of children looking through the windows of the train with a sense of gratitude in their eyes. I conceived the poem in my mind during a bike ride from hospital to my home at Vellayani,” Gopakumar, two-time best artiste (Kalaprathibha) in Kerala University arts festivals and a recipient of many awards for his achievements in the fields of both medical profession and literature, told Onmanorama.
The poem became a song and eventually a musical video as Gopakumar's seniors in college, Dr Reji Thomas and Dr Saji George, came on board.
Dr Reji of Heritage Kerala Ayurveda, Visakhapatnam, composed the music while Dr Saji George, Ayurclinic Melbourne, produced the video.
“Dr Gopakumar sent me the poem on WhatsApp after he wrote it. I then forwarded it to Dr Reji, who is my friend since college days. Reji tuned it in a couple of days and sent it back to me. It's a simple song that anyone can sing. As I asked Gopakumar about recording it he was all welcome,” Dr Saji said.
He said it was his love for Kerala that prompted him to produce the video.
Dr Reji's friend Subini S Nair, who works in Visakhapatnam, managed the production and translated the lyrics for subtitles.
“We found the lyrics so beautiful that we wanted them to be rendered by prominent singers. Thus we chose Madhu Balakrishnan and Mridula. First we thought of making the video with some file visuals but then we decided to shoot fresh visuals to make the production better. All the shooting and recording were done complying to the lockdown restrictions,” Subini said. She said the song was meant to re-energise the COVID warriors.
The video was directed by Sreejesh K while orchestration and programming were done by Dominic Martin. Denson Davis is the recordist. Shaiju M handled mixing and mastering. Subash Gangadharan handled camera and editing was done by Sachin Sahadev and Vimith Anand.